Mike Hettwer—National Geographic
By Mikko Takkunen
April 21, 2014

Features and Essays

A employee demonstrates the photo capabilities of the Nokia Lumia 1020, a Windows Phone with a 41-megapixel camera after its unveiling in New York City July 11, 2013.
Mike Hettwer—National Geographic

Mike Hettwer: The Ship-Breakers (National Geographic) The men of Bangladesh risk their lives to tear apart cargo carriers and tankers | Related field notes by Hettwer here | From the May issue of National Geographic magazine

Sarker Protick: Of River and Lost Lands (PROOF) A project on Ishurdi district in Bangladesh

Ismail Ferdous and Nathan Fitch: The Deadly Cost of Fashion (New York Times) Short film dealing with last year’s Rana Plaza garment factory disaster in Bangladesh

Ami Vitale: Inside The (Not So) Secret World of Pandas (LightBox) Releasing Giant pandas into the wild in Sichuan Province, China

Ian Teh: Fight against malaria at the border between Myanmar and Thailand (Agence Vu)

Vincenzo Floramo: In Burma, It’s Rehab at Gunpoint (Foreign Policy) How Burmese rebels are waging war on the opium industry

Back in 2012, shortly after Apple got the whole "Retina" ball rolling, the pickings for beautiful high-resolution desktop wallpapers were pretty slim. The list I compiled in October 2012 highlighted just five sites, and I had to scour the place to drum that many up. Thankfully those five were terrific, flush with beautiful imagery, much of it captured and cultivated by professional photographers, talented artists and enthusiasts of eclectic cultural miscellany. They've more than kept my 2800 x 1880 pixel workspace happy. But we're a ways from 2012, and with 4K and higher screens on the rise, the world's filling up with post-1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) content. So here's my list of picks updated for 2014, including the five original sites -- still some of the best around -- but with several lovely additions. Keep tabs on these, and you're looking at enough art to swap your desktop or mobile device's wallpaper several times a day, for years to come. InterfaceLIFT [caption id="attachment_93871" align="alignnone" width="560"] InterfaceLIFT[/caption] If I had to pick one site, it would still be this one (it was my favorite last time, too). The photographic and post-shot editing talent on display in this joint is second to none, and the images now roll up past my 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro's 2880 x 1880 resolution to 3840 x 2400 (as well as 3860 x 2160, the 4K ultra high definition TV standard). The site itself is also one of the most elegantly designed and easy to navigate, each picture annotated with the photographer’s capture device specs and post-processing notes. Cost: Free via website, $6 for Macdrops OS X menubar, $1.99 for Backdrops iPhone/iPod, $2.99 for Backdrops iPad Vladstudio [caption id="attachment_93975" align="alignnone" width="560"] Vladstudio[/caption] You won’t find many photographs at Vladstudio, but you will find some of the best eclectic digital art on the web. Russian artist Vlad Gerasimov’s collection of desktop wallpapers is gorgeous, a trove of clever, imaginative and occasionally humorous themes that range from seasonal showcases and riffs on maps of the world to playful musings on digital life. Note: the desktop resolutions currently top out at 2880 x 1880, but the site include support for most Apple and Android devices as well as multi-monitor (up to three) ultra-wide images. Cost: Free for lower resolution images, $14.99 for a premium membership which unlocks the high-definition versions (the membership cost is one-time, and thus for life). WallpapersWide [caption id="attachment_94009" align="alignnone" width="560"] WallpapersWide[/caption] Think of WallpapersWide as the grab bag of Retina wallpaper sites, offering everything from cartoons and celebrities to “motors,” music, nature and “vintage” backgrounds (you can sort by any of those categories, and dozens more). The site auto-detects your resolution, too, though if you're running a scaled interface, like most Retina MacBook Pros, you'll need to manually input your native resolution, since the site detects the considerably lower scaled one. The only caveat: Some of the wallpapers top out below resolutions like 2560 x 1600 or 2880 x 1880, so be sure to use the handy “Filter By” resolution option on the left column. That said, sorting by 2880 x 1880 turned up well over 12,000 pages of material (in 2012, there were just 4000 at this resolution) and the site now supports crazy-high resolutions and ratios, up to 5:4 and 10240 x 4096. Cost: Free Digital Blasphemy [caption id="attachment_94028" align="alignnone" width="560"] Digital Blasphemy[/caption] Another multifaceted digital art site, Digital Blasphemy offers splendid 3D-rendered original art by Ryan Bliss, who’s been selling his work through the site for years. While many of the compositions are intentionally idiosyncratic, you’ll find glamour shots of beautified landscapes here that in some cases look so photorealistic you'll be hard pressed to discern fantasy from reality. Resolution coverage is excellent, too, running up to 7860 x 1600 (triple-screen 16:10). Cost: Free in the “free” gallery, but most artwork is membership-based. Memberships range from $15 for 100 days to a lifetime option for $99. WallpaperFX [caption id="attachment_94053" align="alignnone" width="560"] WallpaperFX[/caption] Like WallpapersWide, WallpaperFX offers a hodgepodge of high-resolution pictures (celebrity, animals, nature, etc.) as well as rendered and tinkered-with artwork, with resolutions running up to the 4K TV spec (3840 x 2160). It sports a notably smaller collection than most, but has its share of zingers, like the one pictured here. Cost: Free 2048pixels [caption id="attachment_94121" align="alignnone" width="560"] 2048pixels[/caption] 2048pixels doesn’t support the Retina MacBook Pro family’s 2560 x 1600 or 2880 x 1880 resolutions, but it remains the go-to site for the the Retina iPad and iPad mini (2048 x 1536). Before you download one of 2048pixels’ wallpapers, be sure to fiddle with the “FX” button in each image’s upper-left-hand corner, where you can actually custom-tailor the properties like blurring, textures (lines, mesh grains) and pixelation. Cost: Free MrWallpaper Google Images
Guy Martin—Panos

Guy Martin: City of Dreams (Wired Raw File) Turkish soap operas and social unrest collide in surreal photos

Sergey Ponomarev: A Change in Atmosphere in Central Syria (New York Times) Relative calm in parts of Syria is deceptive

Monique Jaques: Female in Gaza (New York Times) Series on women of Gaza

Carl de Keyzer—Magnum

Carl de Keyzer: To Be 20 Years Old in Rwanda (Le Monde) Photos of the country’s youth

David Guttenfelder: Rwanda: The Art of Remembering and Forgetting (National Geographic News) Two decades after the genocide, Rwandans navigate the way forward

William Daniels—Panos for Al Jazeera America

William Daniels: Trapped in a nightmare in Central African Republic (Al Jazeera America) As the Central African Republic falls into barbaric violence between the country’s Christians and Muslims,23,000 refugees — traumatized, malnourished and dying — remain stuck in the town of Boda

Michaël Zumstein: Central African Republic spirals into chaos (MSNBC) Zumstein has been covering the growing crisis in C.A.R. since September 2013

Bieke Depoorter: After the Revolution: Interior Lives in Egypt (LightBox) Depoorter, a photographer based in Belgium, has found a way to uniquely document everyday Egyptian life

Dina Oganova: Faces of Georgia (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth) A selection from “I am Georgia,” an ongoing project that Oganova began in 2007.

Mauricio Lima: Russia’s Supporters Pile High the Barricades in East Ukraine (New York Times)

Manu Brabo: Crimea’s Self-Defence Force (Al Jazeera) Pro-Russian units say they are maintaining order in the breakaway region, but they have been accused of abuses.

Guillaume Herbaut: Return of the Cossacks (Paris Match L’Instant) Ukraine

A senior engineer behind Nokia's Pureview camera, a 41-megapixel behemoth that took smartphone imagery to new heights of crispness, has confirmed that he will be moving to Apple. In a farewell tweet to the Nokia team, Ari Partinen wrote that he would "start a new chapter in Cupertino, California." Nokia called Partinen its resident "camera expert" during a fashion photo shoot with one of his pixel-packing creations. Apple's iPhone 5 currently packs a respectable 8 megapixel punch, a relative featherweight compared with Nokia's Lumia 1020 smartphone.
William Albert Allard—National Geographic

William Albert Allard: Love and Loss on the Seine (National Geographic) The river is a lure for romantics, tourists, sunbathers, anglers, psychiatric patients—le tout Paris | From the May issue of National Geographic magazine

Angelos Tzortzinis: No Easy Comeback (New York Times) Economic struggles continue in Greece

Gabrielle Aplin knows what it's like to make it to the top, and she's completely unfazed at the thought of trying it all over again on another continent. The 21-year-old British folk singer already made a name for herself when her single "The Power of Love" topped the iTunes chart in the U.K. and Australia, but it's a name Americans aren't familiar with... yet. As Aplin starts her first U.S. tour, she's still as unassuming and down-to-earth as her YouTube self, which caught the attention of Parlophone Records in 2012. Since then, she's gained international recognition, but she's still pleased — and even a little surprised — to find fans outside NYC's Studio at Webster Hall, waiting to catch a selfie with her as she heads in for a sound check hours before the show. "I haven't met any fans in the U.S. apart from the New York fans so far," Aplin said. "But these fans all came from the same place—they've been there since the beginning. They are really, really lovely and really excited that I'm here, which just makes me feel amazing." After a day of interviews, picking out a pair of vintage boots, a veggie lunch in Union Square, and an acoustic performance for People, the singer-songwriter had her first U.S. show in front of a crowd of about 250 people. It's the type of space that Aplin performed at two or three years ago back in the U.K., she said. "It was just nice to go down and see a small little room, and be like, 'Wow, I'm here to actually work,' this isn't handed to me on a plate," Aplin said. "It's exciting that it's starting again—it's quite nostalgic and quite humbling, I suppose." Aplin's sound has been described as soft and breathless, and yet is powerful at the same time. Whether it's singing with an acoustic guitar or in front of a full band, her voice and quirky personality resonate effortlessly. "I think it's nice to work and then have success," Aplin said. "I think it's all about the people who listen to your music, and loving playing and writing. Once you've got those two and they're your main two priorities, then radio and TV and all the other stuff that comes with it will come. But that's not the be-all end-all." Below, take a look at Aplin's EP, English Rain, which debuted in the U.S. on May 6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va6vCizo4h4
Matt Black

Matt Black: The Geography of Poverty (Project website) Rural California

Christopher Payne: Isle of No Man (New York Times magazine) Photo from Payne’s book, North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City

Megan Miller: Bitcoin (Wired Raw File blog) Photographer dives into the strange, subversive world of Bitcoin

Janet Jarman: Marisol: The American Dream (New York Times Lens blog) Jarman has followed Marisol from her childhood in Mexico to life as a young mother in the United States, making images that are educating teachers and doctors about the complexities of immigrant life

Amnon Gutman

Amnon Gutman: Interrupting violence in Brooklyn (MSNBC) Outreach workers trying to reduce violence in the borough

Benedict Evans: A Place to Call Home (BKLYNR) Portraits of first generation Arab-Christian immigrants and their children in Brooklyn

Ilana Panich-Linsman: Growing up in beauty pageants (CNN Photo blog) An inside look at the real life of a preteen beauty queen.

An-Sofie Kesteleyn: My Little Rifle (New York Times Lens blog) The world of real guns for real kids

Edward Burtynsky: Water (Wired Raw File) Photos expose mankind’s uneasy relationship with water

Todd Heisler: A Journey North, From Farther South (New York Times) Hoping for asylum, migrants strain U.S. border

Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

Daniel Berehulak: Grand Visions Fizzle in Brazil (New York Times) An array of lavish projects conceived when economic growth was surging now stand abandoned, stalled or wildly over budget.

Natalie Keyssar: In Venezuela, Youths Form the Backbone of Protests (Wall Street Journal)

Bachelorette start Emily Maynard says fourth time’s the charm. At least when it comes to her love life. The reality star has been engaged four times, but she told People her current engagement to automotive management consultant Tyler Johnson is her last.  
Sebastian Liste—Reportage by Getty Images for Al Jazeera America

Sebastian Liste: Life Inside New Palestine (Al Jazeera America) Thousands living like refugees in a tent camp known as New Palestine in southwest São Paulo as housing shortage grips the city while Brazil spends billions on World Cup

Santiago Arcos: La Ciénega (New York Times Lens blog) A chance mention of a small Ecuadorean town with no children and a handful of old residents set Santiago Arcos on a mission to document its dwindling life.

Articles

Here are the stories TIME is watching this Thursday, May 8: Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel waited until the 22nd pick to hear the Cleveland Browns call his name at the 2014 NFL draft. Fierce storms battered the Midwest with heavy winds, rain and hail as tornadoes touched down in Colorado and Minnesota. Apple is reportedly close to a $3.2 billion acquisition deal with Beats Electronics, maker of famous Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. Hello my baby, hello my honey. Scientists find 14 species of dancing frogs in India. The Brief is published daily.
Tyler Hicks—The New York Times/Redux

New York Times Wins Two Photography Pulitzers (New York Times Lens blog) The Times swept the 2014 prizes for photography. Tyler Hicks won for his coverage of a terrorist attack at a Nairobi mall. Josh Haner was honored for his images of the slow and painful recovery process of a Boston Marathon bombing survivor.

Four kidnapped French journalists have been freed (British Journal of Photography) French journalists, including photographers Edouard Elias and Pierre Torrès, have been found alive on the Turkish-Syrian border months after they were kidnapped

Photojournalist Kerim Okten killed in Turkey (NPPA)

Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award Announced (PDN Pulse) The International Women’s Media Foundation has announced the creation of the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, honoring the Associated Press photojournalist who was slain April 4 while covering preparations for the recent elections in Afghanistan.

Cheerful and Unflappable: Remembering the Photographer Anja Niedringhaus (Spiegel) Niedringhaus spent her life documenting wars, but she never allowed the difficult job to get the better of her. One of Spiegel’s own war correspondents commemorates the work of a longtime colleague killed in Afghanistan

Ask any child of the 1990s, and she remembers – vividly – when she first heard about the Monica Lewinsky scandal (as well as the particular sex acts involved). I was 16, perched with a group of friends in the hallway of my high school, devouring the contents of the Starr report like a trashy romance novel. (He did what with a cigar?! ) None of us was old enough to truly comprehend the complexities – or power dynamics – of a 22-year-intern fellating the President of the United States. And yet we did know one thing: We didn’t like that raunchy Lewinsky girl. What kind of woman flashes her thong at the president, anyway? Long before “slut-shaming” was a term, Monica Lewinsky was its original target. My teenage friends and I were among her critics, though the rest of the country too seemed to be acting like horny misogynist teens. The basics of Lewinsky’s story we all remember: Young intern makes idiotic mistake and, like many before her, starts a sexual relationship with the president. Affair leads to legal explosion, investigation, impeachment, and, ultimately, one of the first tests of the Internet’s viral capabilities (the story was blasted out on Drudge). The young woman is permanently cast as a semen-smeared laughingstock. Nearly two decades later, Lewinsky is still a punchline and a sly euphemism for oral sex. She reappears in the press this week, by way of a 4,000-word Vanity Fair essay about the hellish aftermath of her “mutual relationship” with President Bill Clinton. She says she’s had trouble getting jobs. (Everyone knows her name, after all.) She turned down lucrative offers to tell all – because they “didn’t feel like the right thing to do” – and survived on loans from family and friends. If humiliation is indeed the most intense human emotion, as a new study found, then Lewinsky is my generation's Hester Prynne. She had suicidal thoughts, and her mother feared that she would be "literally humiliated to death." (A consequence we now know is not so far-fetched in the internet-social media era.) The timing of Lewinsky’s essay, as we await a Hillary Clinton presidential run, is no doubt strategic, taking us back to an era that the Clintons would rather not revisit. But perhaps it also shows how far we’ve come. Does the media owe Monica Lewinsky a collective apology? To look back on the specifics now is mind-blowing. The Wall Street Journal referred to Lewinsky – in print – as a “little tart.” New York Magazine reported that, as an adolescent, Lewinsky had spent two summers at fat camp, where she “paid particular attention to the boys.” (Code word: Slut.) Maureen Dowd won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of Lewinsky, in which she called her a “ditzy, predatory White House intern” and “the girl who was too tubby to be in the high school ‘in’ crowd,” among other ugly caricatures. Fox News actually released a poll investigating whether the public thought Lewinsky was an “average girl” or a “young tramp looking for thrills.” Fifty four percent rated her a tramp. “It was a different time back then. There was no consciousness raised about slut-shaming. ‘Bullying’ wasn’t even in the vernacular,” says Leora Tanenbaum, the author of Slut!, which first established the term “slut-bashing” (a precursor to slut-shaming) when it came out in 1999. “​People who were decision-makers and influential writers were making comments about her hair and body. It was a textbook case of the sexual double standard.” Indeed, it wasn’t just Bill Clinton who didn’t even grant Lewinsky the dignity of using her name when he finally, partially, admitted the affair. (She was “That Woman” – as in, “I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman.”) There were no websites like Jezebel back then, no feminist bloggers, no Women’s Media Center to call out sexism in the press. And so the media vilified her, painting her as that scary feminine trope: the crazy, emotional Single White Female – or, to borrow the phrase from the political sex scandal before her, "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty." “This is all sort of part of the water at the time, where the woman is the evil seductress – and the poor, weak man had no power to resist her,” says Jennifer Pozner, a media critic and the author of Reality Bites Back, about women and reality TV. “That’s how Monica Lewinsky entered the fray.” In reality, it’s not actually that hard to imagine being in Lewinsky’s shoes. The thrill of the flirtation. The flattery of being wooed by a president. The naiveté about the consequences. The stupidity… of being 22. “I doubt most people could survive being defined but the least advisable sexual encounter they've engaged in,” says the feminist writer Amanda Marcotte. “She was young and dumb, but it was consensual. He has more responsibility, being both married and older.” And yet at the time, Lewinsky had few defenders, even among feminists – her identity, not just her behavior, systematically torn apart. In a column in Time, Barbara Ehrenreich lamented that the days after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke had been "The Week Feminists Got Laryngitis." And when they did speak up, it wasn’t pretty: "My dental hygienist pointed out she had third-stage gum disease," quipped Erica Jong. “If anything, it sounds like she put the moves on him," said Backlash author Susan Faludi. “Even mainstream feminists, who you’d think would come out and say, ‘You know, here’s this poor young woman being exploited, let’s take her side,’ they’re not taking her side,” Katie Roiphe mused, part of a New York Observer roundtable with Jong and others held at the time that is once again making the rounds. "It was reminiscent of the way teen girls will rally around a high status boy and throw the 'slutty' girl under the bus," says Rachel Simmons, the author of Odd Girl Out and Curse of the Good Girl, who was working for Senator Charles Schumer at the time. "Girls do it to protect their own status and preserve their own relationships with the guys. Bill Clinton was the Golden Boy." And indeed, that was part of the problem. Sure, Clinton was charming and charismatic. (“All of my women friends and I would be happy to have sex with Clinton and not talk about it," the New Yorker writer Patricia Marx joked at the time.) But he was also good for women-at-large. He supported reproductive rights. He put Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. And then there was Hillary. So when Lewinsky asks now, "Where ... were the feminists back then?” we know the answer. As the president of the Feminist Majority Foundation put it, five months after the affair was revealed: "We’re trying to think of the bigger picture, think about what’s best for women." There’s very rarely sympathy for “the other woman." Or, as Erica Jong tells me, when asked if the reaction to Lewinsky would be any different today: “Blaming women is always in fashion." And yet the Lewinsky scandal would play out differently today. Remember, this was pre-sexting, pre-orchestrated sex tapes, pre-Paris Hilton. There was no social media, no feminist blogs, no Rachel Madow. "No infrastructure," as Pozner puts it, "to push back against the echo chamber." Yes, there's a long history of political sex scandals, but today we're somewhat immune from the shock factor: we'd never remember where we were when one or another was first revealed. There have simply been too many too count. “I think it was a unique moment in time,” says Pozner of the collective shaming of Lewinsky. “She was young, she was single, she wasn’t connected to money or much of a support system, and so she was sort of like an Etch-a-Sketch for whatever the rightwing and/or media wanted to map onto her. And she didn't have a PR machine behind her, she didn't have an activist machine behind her, so she didn't have the support, or audience, to change the narrative.” She’s got it now. The problem: It's too late.
Anastasia Taylor-Lind—VII

Anastasia Taylor-Lind’s Maidan: Portraits from the Black Square (British Journal of Photography) Maidan: Portraits from the Black Square by Anastasia Taylor-Lind is a new book of portraits of anti-government protestors and mourners made in a makeshift photographic studio in Kiev, Ukraine during the recent unrest | Related on the Instagram blog here

Review: Peter van Agtmael’s Disco Night Sept 11 (Conscientious Photography Magazine)

Review: Edward Burtynsky’s Water (Photo-eye)

Here’s What Drone Attacks in America Would Look Like (Wired Raw File) On Tomas van Houtryve’s Blue Sky Days series

Rebecca Norris Webb: Rochester Reverie (American Photo magazine) Alex and Rebecca Norris Webb pay tribute to a city and the medium that put it on the map

Picturing the Holy Land: 12 Photographers Chart a Region’s Complexities (LightBox) This Place is the collective product, nearly a decade in the making, of 12 renowned photographers who each took up residence for a spell in Israel and the West Bank.

Art Photography vs. News Photography: Politico, Race and the “Other Washington” (BagNewsNotes) Comments on Politico’s edit of Susana Raab’s East of the River series

Daily Mirror’s weeping child picture is a lie and smacks of lazy journalism at best (Guardian) Paper’s use of stock shot of American child to illustrate splash about food banks in UK is betrayal of its photographic heritage | Guardian’s head of photography, Roger Tooth, on Daily Mirror’s recent use of a stock photo on its front page

The Subject of a Diane Arbus (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth) Diane Arbus’s Jewish Giant, a new exhibit that opens this Friday at the Jewish Museum in New York, explores the subject of one of Arbus’s most famous photographs, “A Jewish giant at home with his parents, in the Bronx, N.Y.,” from 1970.

From Ordinary Life, Extraordinary Images (New York Times Lens blog) Chang Chao-Tang didn’t think much of his images of everyday life in Taiwan. More than five decades later, an exhibit highlights the purity of his images, showing “real people and places.”

Gerda Taro: The forgotten war photographer you should know (CNN)

Puppies can kill you with cuteness, but they may also be able to help cure you. At least that's what a new study hopes to prove. "Obviously, we know that the children like to see the dogs," said Amy McCullough, American Humane Association’s national director of humane research and therapy, speaking to NBC. "But the folks in risk management want some clinical data.” Finding that clinical data is at the heart of the new study spearheaded by the American Humane Association (AHA) that aims to provide scientific proof of what many anecdotally know to be true — puppy love can make you feel better. The study, which advocates say may be the first clinical trial on the effects of animal-assisted therapy on young cancer patients and their families, has backing from both Zoetis, a veterinary health firm, and Pfizer Foundation. For the study, researchers have designed a randomized, controlled trial in five children's hospitals. Researchers will follow 100 children, between the ages of 3 -12, who are newly diagnosed with cancer. 50 will receive visits from trained therapy dogs, and 50 will receive standard treatment without puppy love to ease the blow. The study will track blood pressure, heart rate and psychological responses in the kids, their families and the caregivers lucky enough to get to work with the therapy dogs. The study isn't all about the kids, though. Researchers will also look at the effect on the dogs, measuring the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the animals’ saliva before and after visits spent cuddling children. [Via NBC] MORE: If You Have a Heart, This Puppy Ad Will Completely Melt It MORE: Dog In Pink Wheelchair Has More Swag Than All Of Us
Taylor Glascock

Featured photographer: Taylor Emrey Glascock (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Andrei Riskin (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Cassi Alexandra (Verve Photo)

Interviews and Talks

One morning a few months ago, I got a phone call from my mother in the middle of the work day. "I did something totally crazy," she said in a hushed tone. My first thought was that she'd gotten a tramp stamp. "I asked for a promotion for the first time in my life," she said. "It was really scary." This got me thinking about how important my mother's job has been for me as her daughter. Despite all the anxiety that working moms are somehow "slacking" on parenthood, I don't remember a single missed dance recital or thrown-together dinner from my childhood (although I'm sure there were some.) Instead, I remember serious conversations about what I wanted to be, and practical advice about how I would get there. I remember meeting friends she'd made at work, which reassured me that I, too, could have my own life even once I had a family. And I remember her telling me, over and over, that being a woman does not mean you have to live "a life deferred onto the next generation." My mom's job didn't make her a worse mom, it made her a better one. There's lots of research to show that kids of of parents who work full-time turn out no worse than kids who have a mother at home at least some of the time. But for some moms who work, those studies provide little comfort when they're racked with guilt over serving dinner at 8:30 again. So this Mother's Day, I spoke to some friends whose moms also worked full-time, to see what they remembered about their mother's jobs. "My mother's career has improved my life in every possible way," my friend Antonia Kerle told me. "It's not just that she's made me ambitious, but she's also also made me believe that I really can do what I want to do and be happy doing it. I think lots of women may hear that, but they don't have a role model for it." Antonia just finished a stint in the Peace Corps, and is currently getting a masters Labor Relations at Cornell. Her mother, Kathryn Kerle, is the Head of Risk Reporting at the Royal Bank of Scotland. She told me she never had doubts about working full-time throughout her girls' childhood, because she knew she was setting a good example for them. "I want my daughters to feel that there are options for them," she said. "And how better to do that than by showing them how you can have a full and vibrant family life without dedicating yourself 100% to childrearing?" Mrs. Kerle also mentioned a visit with her sister that she found especially illuminating. "She came to visit me when the twins had just been born, and she said 'you know whats really strange, you spend more time with your daughters than our other sister-in-law who’s a stay-at-home-mom.'" Another friend, Isabel Strauss, also says her mother's career at the MacArthur Foundation has been instrumental in forging her own ambition.“I wouldn’t have tried to get good grades, I wouldn’t have tried to get into college, I wouldn't have pursued a career in the arts, I wouldn't have done anything that was a risk, because why would it matter?" she told me. "You know the expression ‘do as I do, not as I say?' It’s easier to trust people when they do what they say to do also," she said, adding that her mother had always told her to work hard and manage her connections well. "So because my mom's actions matched the advice she was giving me, I believed them." Strauss just graduated with a degree in Art History from Harvard, and is pursuing a career in set design in Chicago. Hannah Joy Habte told me that after her parents separated, her mother went back to school to learn computers so she could get a full-time job a paralegal to support their family. Now that Habte is teaching third grade with Teach for America in New York, she says she realizes she can work just as hard as her mom did. "I think that my mom being able to do all of those things has led to me having the work ethic I have," she said. "Now I have a full time job, and I go to graduate school at the same time. It’s stressful, and I don’t feel like it’s overwhelming, but that’s because I had a mom who was doing a million things things at once." Habte also said that her mother acts as her unofficial professional coach. "Any time I have a problem at work, I go to her, especially when I’m trying to figure out ways to deal with authority," she said. "I’ve learned a lot from her about sexism in the workplace, especially if your boss isn’t taking you seriously as a woman." Of course, working is usually more of a financial decision than a parenting one, and Kathryn Kerle told me that her income made it possible for their family to achieve a certain standard of living. But it also sets an example of financial and personal independence for her daughters. "Having your own source of income gives you options, and gives you leverage in a relationship that you don’t otherwise have," she said. "So if I stay in my marriage, it's because I want to, as I’m perfectly capable of leaving." I asked my friends if they ever remembered a time when they felt neglected because of their mother's job. "No," said Isabel. "I really don't think so," said Hannah. "Never," said Antonia. Neither did I. During that phone call a few months ago, I asked my mom why she asked for a promotion. "I did it for you and your sister," she said. "So you'd know you could do it too."  
Q. Sakamaki—Redux Pictures

Q. Sakamaki Seeks the Soul Behind the Scene (PROOF) Sakamaki interviewed about his Instagram work

Tyler Hicks interviewed about his Pulitzer Prize winning work (CNN) Hicks about his Pulitzer winning photos of the Nairobi mall attack

Maggie Steber (NPPA) Jim Colton interviews Maggie Steber

Susan Meiselas (The United Nations of Photography)

Chernobyl Revisited: Q&A with Gerd Ludwig (Roads and Kingdoms)

David Turnley: Mandela, Struggle and Triumph, Part 1 | Part 2 (Leica blog) Two part conversation with David Turnley on his long-term project documenting Nelson Mandela and South Africa

David Turnley: Witness to History, Searching for Dignity (New York Times Lens blog) Turnley on his work documenting Rwanda genocide twenty years ago

Thomas P. Peschak: Discovering the Ocean of Childhood Dreams (PROOF)

Karen Mullarkey (Jarecke+Murion blog) Mullarkey is one of the most influential and respected picture editors of all time. She first worked at Life Magazine and went on to be the Director of Photography at Rolling Stone, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated.

Pamela Chen shares her journey into photography (The Verge YouTube)

Renée C. Byer on her work for Living on a Dollar A Day book (PROOF) Related on Dazed Digital here

Gregory Heisler (Esquire) Heisler on his Sports Illustrated cover showing 3,000 people pose before the Boston Marathon finish line

Rena Effendi on the Beauty in Unexpected Places (PROOF)

Ten questions for Martin Parr and Gerry Badger (Phaidon blog) Parr and Badger on rarity, collecting and why the photograph is like a time machine

Benjamin Lowy: “The end of Instagram?” (FLTR Live) Benjamin Lowy has covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, famine in Haiti and Darfur, and the aftermath of last year’s devastating tsunami. Yet in recent years he’s been recognised for his work on the iPhone. He speaks with Olivier Laurent about the impact it’s had on his work and his future

Benjamin Rasmussen (Vice / Mossless Magazine)

Five Questions for John Francis Peters (APhotoADay) John Francis Peters is a Los Angeles based photographer specializing in documentary, portrait, travel and lifestyle projects

John Edmonds (New York Times Lens blog) Turning Point interview


Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


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